When is the best time to start lifting weights?
As someone who growing up really hated exercising, I genuinely wish I'd found strength training sooner. My idea of fitness was being terrible at all sports in school. I dreaded PE with every fibre in my being. I mean the kit wasn't the best either was it?
Thanks to a complete career shift and following my passion to qualify as a personal trainer, I got to dive head first into strength training.
There is always this notion of BEST in the fitness industry and for the most part, it doesn't exist. It's mainly used to sell you stuff you don't need with the promise of being the answer to your prayers.
I always bang on about this to my personal training clients, BEST is individual. It's about what works for you.
So, if you have never lifted weights before, no matter what age you're at now, it is always a good time to start.
If we remove the idea of when starting is optimal, then we can talk about where to get started. If this is completely new to you, there are some of the great benefits of strength training for women.
BENEFITS OF STRENGTH TRAINING
Increases muscle strength, tone, and endurance ✔️
Increases bone density and joint strength ✔️
Improves posture, balance, coordination, and mobility ✔️
Reduces risk of injury from everyday activities ✔️
Improves body image ✔️
Builds lean muscle and decreases body fat✔️
All things I think we can agree would benefit us no matter what age we started resistance training?
TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Let's say either you've never lifted weights before, you've dabbled but not consistently or you've had some time off recently... These tips are for you.
Start with a load that feels manageable. This means you'll need to use your judgment on how stable the exercise feels and whether you feel you could do more reps or you can't finish the reps you intended to do. Don't be afraid to play around and pick up a few different weights to try. In the beginning this is a process of trial and error and I can guarantee you will probably try a lighter weight than you're capable of.
Warm up before lifting weights, use a mix of dynamic stretches and cardio to lubricate your joints and elevate your heart rate. Warm up's don't need to be any more than 5 minutes long so don't over complicate it.
Don’t exercise to exhaustion in the beginning. You want to feel your body working but not be crawling out of the gym and too sore for 3 days after a workout to go back and do anything.
Give yourself rest days in between workouts to allow time for your muscle soreness to calm down. Remember that to grow muscle strength training damages the muscle and they need time to repair. The ideal for me with my clients is 3 workouts a week with a rest day in between each.
Something else to keep in mind, all gyms should provide an induction session, even if you've been a member for a while, you can still ask to be shown equipment, how to set up machines etc. This is part of your membership so don't be afraid to ask someone for advice if you're not sure.
I hope this inspires you to think about strength training in a different way and to know that it is never too late to start lifting weights and learning to enjoy exercise.
Don’t forget to check out my Watchlist which is jam packed with workouts on YouTube to get you started if you’re in need of some inspiration.